Trump Never Wanted “Total Authority” Over the Pandemic

This headline in my morning LA Times cracks me up:

Trump “relents.” Sure. Does anyone think for even a minute that Trump ever wanted total control over reopening the economy—or any other aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic? He spent two months telling us it was no big deal, and ever since then he’s done nothing but blame it on other people. He’s blamed China. He’s blamed WHO. He’s blamed Obama. He’s blamed the states. He’s blamed unnamed experts who failed to tell him anything was going on. He’s blamed the media. He’s blamed General Motors. He’s blamed hospitals.

In the meantime, the only concrete action he’s taken has been putting Jared in charge of a dodgy airlift operation that allows him to distribute medical supplies at his personal whim.

Trump doesn’t have a clue what to do about a pandemic that can’t be removed from the front pages by simply distracting everyone with some random, outrageous comment. So all that’s left is to make sure that someone else gets the blame for it. To that end, his “total authority” comment worked great: it suckered everyone into being outraged and demanding that he acknowledge state control. Now he’s pretending to relent when that was almost certainly his goal in the first place. You wanted state control, you got it.

Animal cunning, boys and girls. Always remember that. Trump may not be book smart, but his animal cunning quotient is off the charts.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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